Kosovo Inaugurates Monument in Gratitude of Albanians Who Saved Jews during Holocaust. August 23, 2023. Photo courtesy of PMs Facebook Page.

Kosovo Inaugurates Monument in Gratitude of Albanians Who Saved Jews during Holocaust

The Albanian families from Kosovo who rescued the Jews during Holocaust, have been honored with the "Wall of Honor" in the Kosovo capital.

The “Wall of Honor”, a new monument inaugurated on Wednesday in Prishtina, will stand as a sign of gratitude for the sacrifice of the 23 Kosovo Albanians that  rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

The monument was placed in a park in Prishtina, close to Dodona neighborhood, in the presence of some of the rescuers’ descendants, political leaders, and the U.S. and German ambassadors.

Kosovo Inaugurates Monument in Gratitude of Albanians Who Saved Jews during Holocaust. August 23, 2023. Photo courtesy of PMs Facebook Page.

The inauguration was made possible by the Albanian-American Foundation and the Kosovo-Israel Friendship Association.

The director of the Albanian-American foundation, Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi said that they have gathered to honor the Albanians who risked their lives and saved the Jews.

“We are gathered, in my opinion, to bring the sacrifice and the achievements of the past into the present and look forward into the future with great hope,” she added. 

The PM of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, added that the wall serves as a monument that engraves values of people of Kosovo and Jewish people worldwide. 

“This wall honors the selflessness and the sacrifice of Albanians in Kosovo who rescue their Jewish friends and neighbors from the horrific evil of Holocaust. The wall recognises individuals by name and that itself is something to be celebrated”, added PM Kurti.

The family of Lekë Rezniqi is among those who rescued Jewish people in difficult times. Lekë’s great-grandfather, Arsllan Rezniqi is in the “Wall of Honor”. 

“I am the fourth generation of the rescuers  but the communication and relationship with the families of the survivors is continuing so both sides are now flourishing even more and everyday strengthening our friendship”, says Lekë Rezniqi. 

Professor Rachel “Shelly” Levy-Drummer from Israel, whose grandfather was saved by Arsllan Rezniqi was at the inauguration of “Wall of Honor”. 

“Four generations of Jewish and Muslim families, we’re trying to tell the importance of being involved and the importance of human beings all over the world. Thank you very much to the Rezniqi family”, she added. 

During World War II, many Albanian families, not only in Kosovo, but also in Albania, sheltered and protected Jews.

Kosovo celebrates January 27, the International Holocaust Day, for many years in a row. Six million Jews were killed during World War II.  

The UN General Assembly designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in 1945.

As of 2019, there are 80 Jewish families living in Kosovo, according to Ruzhdi Shkodra, president of BET Israel Jewish Community in Prishtina, including an estimated 60 Jews in the southwestern town of Prizren, once a prosperous trade center under the Ottoman Empire.

At the beginning of World War II, some 500 Jews lived in Kosovo, then part of former Yugoslavia. Many were arrested, deported to nearby prisons or Nazi-managed camps and almost half of them died, AP reports. 

As part of the Holocaust and WWII remembrance, at the National Museum of Kosovo, in May, an exhibition called “Racial Diagnosis: Gypsy”  opened. The exhibition displayed photographs of Roma and Sinti people who were killed at the Nazis’ Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp during World War II.

23/08/2023 - 16:26

23 August 2023 - 16:26

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